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Albanese dodges gambling advertisement reform query

PRIME Minister Anthony Albanese has tiptoed around any major gambling advertisement reforms, after being quizzed by Independent Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel.

Albanese said there had been progress in implement measures to keep sports bettors safe, with this including a self-exclusion register and making bookmakers send players a monthly activity report.

Former Labor MP Peta Murphy, who died in December, was passionate about ending the proliferation of sports betting ads on television and had tabled an extensive report in July last year.

This report included recommendations to end sports betting advertising during prime time, but the financial reality of this is clearly hitting home for Albanese, who has so far been very non-committal, including when Daniel put him on the sport.

“The Dunkley by-election is this weekend. The late and great Peta Murphy wanted a full ban on gambling ads, saying, ‘It needs to be done, with no room for circumvention.’ Will the government honour her call?,” she said.

There is little appetitive for gambling advertising reform from Australia’s betting sites or television stations, which receive significant monetary support from corporate bookmakers.

And Albanese is clearly aware of this despite many of his ALP colleagues and the crossbench supporting Murphy’s recommendations.

“We’re indebted to her for her contribution to what is a critical issue” and cited policies to reduce social problems caused by gambling addiction, including creating a self-exclusion register and forcing bookmakers to give users monthly statements of betting activity,” the prime minister said.

Albanese is echoing what Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said about the gambling advertising reform proposal in November last year, who declared they would take a more “nuanced” approach.

The ALP is favoured by online bookmakers to hold the seat of Dunkley after Saturday’s by-election, which was triggered by the death of Murphy, who was a popular figure in Australian politics.

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